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The octopus- an evolutionary anomaly?

Joined
Mar 30, 2007
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181
i was hoping you experts in octopus behavior could help me with this one. as you all know the octopus has a short lifespan, a birth, a growth period, just long enough to mate, reproduction, then death. this simple sequence of events makes it seem as though the octo has only one purpose in life, to mate and reproduce. and yet they are so intelligent. the reason for this is not apparent to me, i see no reason for them to be intelligent, they just are. :confused:
 

OB

Colossal Squid
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Oct 19, 2003
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Well, take a long hard look at Homo sapiens, and I think you'll draw a very similar conclusion.

If intelligence enhances the chances of reproduction, it can and will become a selective pressurepoint. The more intrigueing question is probably why octopus are so intelligent without having any social structures...
 
Joined
Sep 16, 2005
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Bob the kracken;91830 said:
no need to make me feel like a moron with your "umm... no":sad:

Sorry, I wasn't trying to make you feel like a moron, sorry. It is an interesting question, we don't really know how social fossil cephalopods were...
 

Phil

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Bob the kracken;91801 said:
i could be wrong but didn't they first orrigionate from cuttlefish

No, almost certainly not I'm afraid Bob. The common ancestor of cuttlefish and octopus probably existed way back in the Devonian, a strange primitive internally shelled ceph in a time so distant that it even predated the ammonoids. It's hard to be certain given the lack of fossils, but cuttles probably evolved from the Teuthid squids in the Cretaceous or possibly the early Tertiary, though it is possible they had a lineage that linked to the earlier belemnoids. Octopus evolved along an entirely seperate lineage post-Devonian.

At least that's how I understand it. If anyone knows any different, please shout.

As Cuttlegirl says, it's impossible to determine social organisation amongst fossil coleoid cephalopods.
 

Phil

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Nov 19, 2002
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Ah, thanks WK sir. It was cobbled together out of a couple of charts in Clarkson's Invertebrate Palaeontology and Evolution, so please don't think I invented it! The whole area around cuttlefish/squid should be riddled with question marks as to ancestral lineages, as that whole area is highly speculative.
 

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